Noynoy undecided, goes on retreat

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — SEN. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is going on a retreat to seek spiritual discernment before deciding whether to accept the challenge of becoming the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party.

In a brief press conference at Club Filipino, Aquino refused to categorically say if he has accepted the “support” Sen.Mar Roxas gave him as LP’s candidate for president next year.

”This weekend, I will be going on a spiritual retreat. As I pray for discernment and divine guidance, I urge you to pray with me so that you too can assess your own readiness to take part in the difficult struggle ahead. We are in this together,” he said. “Sa mga nalalabing araw ng aming pagluluksa at pagdadalamhati sa pagpanaw ng aming mahal na ina, sisikapin ko pong taus-pusong sagutin ang katanugang ito. Sana maunawaan po ninyo ito,” he added.

Prior to the press conference, Aquino said he will be going to a convent in Davao where his mother, former President Cory Aquino, used to go for spiritual advice.

Pressed if he will accept Roxas’ offer, Aquino was evasive.

“Hindi naman ganoon kadali. Walang ka-plano plano. Hahabulin ko ang dalawang taong pagkakampaya. Hindi pa nga nakakahinga sa trahedya ang mga kapatid ko (sa pagkamatay ng aming ina). Hindi ba dapat ito ang panahon para gugulin ko sa pag alala sa aking ina?” he told reporters.

Aquino said he admired Roxas’ act of sacrifice. “Umaapaw po ang paghanga at paggalang ko kay Mar sa kanyang pagsasaalang- alang ng kanyang personal na ambisyon para sa pagkakaisa ng aming Partido at para sa higit na mataas na mithiin na kapwa naming inaasam para sa ating Bayan,” he said.

He earlier told reporters that if he decided to run, he would want Roxas to be his runningmate.

“Senator Roxas’ sacrifice is the finest example of selflessness that our nation sorely needs in these morally troubled times. Tulad po ng kanyang sinabi kagabi, kalimutan po muna natin ang ating mga sarili—dahil ang laganap na pagtingin sa pansariling kapakanan ang mismong ugat ng kasakiman at pagkakawatak- watak na sumisira sa ating lipunan,” he said.